Need to figure out what went wrong with chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by msheets, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. msheets

    msheets Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Hurricane, WV
    Im not sure if this is a humidity problem or temp, or both. I know it has to be something obvious because every single chick has the exact thing going on with it. All of my chicks from one hatch died in their shells on day 24 with a small grape sized amount of yolk sack left. Also about 1/4 of the egg was still filled with yolk (not sure if clear or yellow). So the chicks were fully formed with their blood vessels absorbed completely but still had some yolk sack left along with quite a bit of runny yolk in the egg. I know my temps were low possibly the entire incubation through my error but I'm starting to think it was a lot lower than I thought (I thought 98/99). I have since replaced my thermometer.

    But anyways to me it would seem like humidity but it was a "dry hatch" so I'm thinking more the low temps. How low would the temps have to be to cause it to be to this extent? They were due the 13th & I took all but one out of the shell today & they hadn't really started breaking down yet so I'm guessing they haven't been dead too long. The other was dead when I took it out 2 days ago. Thanks for any help (=

  2. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I'll start by saying, I'm not an expert. Have only hatched a few batches.

    Moisture loos is a function of heat and humidity. Perhaps you are right that the lower than ideal temp was the culprit. My suggestion is, with the little knowledge that I have, try again, keeping everything the same except the temp as you are thinking it was too low and the lack of dev seems to point that way too.

    I found these links. Maybe helpful.

    A compilation of sites:

    Hatching problems:

    Trouble shooting hatching problems

    Hope you find the answer.
  3. brendapa

    brendapa Songster

    Feb 2, 2010
    Chester County, PA
    Quote:Temp/humidity seems to be the problem. trying to correct it is another issue. You live in WV, I'm in PA. I'm running the heater so there is no way I can do a dry hatch this time of year.
    The relative humidity in my house is too low while I'm running the A/C or heater.
    What was the humidity in the bator and in your house? What incubator are you using? What did your air cells in the egg look like when they were candeled?
    It's difficult to identify the problem unless all issues are sorted out.

  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You might try calibrating your equipment to get a better handle on the actual temperatures and humidities you are working with.

    Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration

    Rebel’s Hygrometer Calibration

    Your thermometer needs to be the kind that is accurate to within 0.1 degree. Those outside thermometers are usually accurate to within 1.0 or 2.0 degrees. What I'm talking about here is not that they read the correct temperature. Due to manufacturing tolerances, thermometers can be off quite a bit. That's why you calibrate them. I've seen up to 9 degrees difference in what the same brand of outside thermometers read on the same shelf in a store.

    What I am talking about when I say accuracy is that the thermometer reads the same temperature each time. With an outside thermometer accurate to within 1 degree, if the actual temperature is 99 degrees, it may read 100 one time and 98 the next. With one accurate to within 0.1 degree, it will read somewhere betweem 98.9 amd 99.1 degrees. A big difference.
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA

    Also about humidity. THis still needds to be tracked during the hatch. Just because it is a dry hatch doesn't mean the RH is ignored. Time of year and location can vary the RH a lot. So while I do dry hatch also, I still track RH and add water if too low; and hope the weather will clear when the rains have kept it up for several days. it's a balancing act so you need to measure the effect of the Rh and moisture loss on the eggs. Weigh or candling.

    Hope you will try again. GL
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    It may have been temp or humidity. I use that dry method. I have the humidity around 28% for 18 days, and 67-70% for lockdown. With the temps, I keep mine as close to 100 f. as possible.
    Like suggested, I would calibrate your equipment.
    It's hard the first times, for most of us.

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